By Jennifer Sadler
There’s nothing small about the effect small businesses have on the Columbus-area community. The nationwide “shop local” movement has taken a strong foothold here because residents understand that what’s good for local business is good for local customers, the community and the economy. And the holidays are a great time to not only reinvest those extra dollars you’re spending, but also to spread holiday cheer by showing your local mom-and-pop businesses that you appreciate them and want them to succeed.
This year, the average holiday shopper will spend an estimated $751 on gifts, decorations and other holiday purchases, according to the National Retail Federation. Holiday shopping can be stressful, but those who’ve embraced the notion of “buy local” know that it can be a warm and fuzzy feel-good experience.
Buy local enthusiasts in Columbus are aware of the positive, long-term impact of their buying decisions and are increasingly putting their money into their own neighborhoods. Buying at independent stores circulates two to four times more revenue back into the local economy than buying at chains, research shows, because local merchants tend to buy their goods and services in the immediate region, donate to local charities and hire locally. All of this sends a ripple of economic benefits through other businesses in the area and supports jobs.
Columbus is no different from other cities in that we’re proud of our uniqueness and diversity and want to continue to nurture and preserve our history and traditions. As evidence of our dedication to community, Columbus is rife with wonderfully unique and vibrant neighborhoods featuring locally owned boutiques, coffeehouses, wine shops, stores featuring local artisans, restaurants, service-oriented businesses and more—with many of them having been around for decades.
Neighborhoods that attract holiday shoppers every year, like the nationally known Short North Arts District, Clintonville, Olde Worthington, Olde Town East, German Village, Bexley and many more—all have their own distinct character and rich history with independent merchants who specialize in the tastes and needs of their residents.
As the most comprehensive online events guide and resource for arts and culture in central Ohio, ColumbusArts.com offers a virtual guide through the Columbus art world with a searchable database of events, concerts, performances and more. ColumbusArts.com is an engaging place for artists and arts organizations to share what they do, with an average of 30,000 users per month. The ColumbusArts.com Artist Directory allows visual, performing and literary artists to create a profile and portfolio to showcase their work—for free—and enables art enthusiasts to easily search for and connect with them. Our monthly ColumbusArts.com artist profile series features interviews with a few of the many talented individuals who make up central Ohio’s thriving creative community.
This month's profile features the Phoenix Rising Printmaking Cooperative, a collective of talented local artists that are dedicated to promoting the art of printmaking by providing a well-equipped studio, educational opportunities and an environment of mutual support, camaraderie and inspiration for artists, students and the community. We spoke with member artist, Cindy Davis, to learn more about Phoenix Rising. Davis is an accomplished printmaker and shares her skills and inspiration by teaching workshops.
By Jennifer Sadler
"I learned printmaking from a Fransican priest in central Italy. He was a well-known artist who had taught printmaking in the university in Perugia, and very kindly offered to take me as his student. My work is kind of schizophrenic: I work in either a totally abstract expressionist mien, or a meticulously detailed style. I feel equally at home in either realm, and I love the adjustments in approach when I switch between them. . .Anne Cushman was a co-founder and president for many years. She is a prime example of the kind of dedicated artist and mentor that sustains our organization. Phoenix has several long-term members, I think it says a lot about the importance of community to artists. We are all very involved in making Phoenix a great resource for artists in Columbus. Our members are supportive of each other's growth and welcoming to anyone who wants to print. Who wouldn't want to be a part of a group like this?"
MadLab Theatre Presents Age of Bees
Set in an ecologically devastated future with humanity on the brink of extinction, Age of Bees tells the story of one young woman’s coming of age. Orphaned as a child by the epidemic that has decimated the world, Melissa must decide whether to remain in the dogmatic seclusion to which she has grown accustomed or to leave the relative safety of the past behind. Age of Bees tackles issues ranging from ecological responsibility and stewardship, theology, and feminism in a mature, measured manner while telling a simple yet gripping story of one girl’s emergence into womanhood.
Ohio Craft Museum Presents Gifts of the Craftsmen
The 13th annual “Gifts of the Craftsmen,” a holiday exhibition and sale of fine craft, is the perfect place for shoppers to discover unique gifts this season, including handcrafted jewelry, pottery, art glass, baskets, clothing and more, all created by over 60 fine craft artists from around Ohio and across the United States. Shoppers will also find an abundance of unique, handcrafted ornaments, from beautiful glass balls to whimsical ceramic figures, and traditional stars and snowflakes. An assortment of artist-made holiday cards, available individually and in sets, is available as well.
JAG Presents Home for the Holidays featuring Marva Hicks
The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) returns to the historic Southern Theatre to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra’s (CJO) Home for the Holidays. Broadway vocal sensation Marva Hicks makes a special return engagement for the annual holiday spectacular. Back by popular demand, she joins artistic director Byron Stripling for a sleigh ride of holiday favorites done CJO-style. Each year promises a special yuletide surprise, and this year is no exception!